The Blood Alliance is one of Jacksonville’s most prominent blood donation organizations. It supplies blood to hospitals in our community. The Blood Alliance has donation centers located conveniently throughout Jacksonville. I have had the most experience donating at the Blood Alliance center in Jacksonville/Atlantic Beach. With an inviting atmosphere, this donation center feels more like a home than a clinic. All of the phlebotomists at the location are incredibly friendly. A standard procedure (or what’s referred to as a whole blood donation) takes about 30 minutes, with the actual donation time being around 15 minutes. There are also platelet donations, where a machine takes the blood and spins it around until the platelets are separated from the rest of the blood. It then removes the platelets and returns the remaining blood to your body. This procedure takes around 90 minutes. During these donations, a donor can watch TV and have a soda while relaxing in a recliner.
Every time someone donates it saves up to three lives. On average a whole blood donation takes half an hour. If you or anyone you know has been in the hospital and needed blood, it probably came from a blood donor. Blood donation is stigmatized because of the fear of needles. The phlebotomists do a great job distracting nervous donors, and if you still feel unsure, remember that it’s a great cause and you’re saving lives. Currently, we don’t have a way to synthesize blood, so many patients rely on the generosity of blood donors. If you are nervous about the process, you can bring someone with you for moral support. Blood donation can be scary, but even if you only donate once you can feel good knowing you helped people.
Students can find a center or a mobile blood bus at http://www.igiveblood.com
The Bloodmobile will be at Kent Campus on Tuesday starting at 9am